IMO adopts IGF Code

The IGF Code aims to minimise the risk to the ship, its crew and the environment, with regards to the nature of the fuels involved. Photo: FJORD LINE_ESPEN GEES The IGF Code aims to minimise the risk to the ship, its crew and the environment, with regards to the nature of the fuels involved. Photo: FJORD LINE_ESPEN GEES

The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has adopted the International Code of Safety for Ships using Gases or other Low-flashpoint Fuels (IGF Code), which aims to minimise the risk to the environment.

This comes as the use of gas as fuel, particularly LNG, continues to increase as a result of lower sulphur and particulate emissions regulations. But, the IMO says gas and other low-flashpoint fuels pose their own set of safety challenges which need to be properly managed.

Now mandatory under SOLAS, the IGF Code includes provisions for the arrangement, installation, control and monitoring of machinery, equipment and systems using low-flashpoint fuels, focusing initially on LNG.

The Code addresses all areas that need special consideration for the usage of low-flashpoint fuels, taking a goal-based approach, with goals and functional requirements specified for each section forming the basis for the design, construction and operation of ships using this type of fuel.

IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) also adopted related amendments to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW), and STCW Code, to include new mandatory minimum requirements for the training and qualifications of masters, officers, ratings and other personnel on ships subject to the IGF Code.

The amendments also have an entry into force date of 1 January 2017, in line with the SOLAS amendments related to the IGF Code. 

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